He’s the most hated person in the National Football League and there’s no end to his tyrannical campaign in sight. Yes, the megalomaniac has been the commissioner of the NFL since 2006 and each year he’s succeeded in bringing in a ton of money for the NFL. Although, each year it seems Goodell drops the ball when a new scandal arises. He’s always talking about protecting “the shield” or the integrity of the NFL, but most who have seen his actions believe he has become an embarrassment to the league.
Where can we start with this hypocritical authorize figure? Some suggest he’s killing football, others believe it is already dead. His failure to punish domestic violence abusers in a consistent manner and his censorship and denial of long-term research for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are hallmark cards of his reign. It’s only a matter of time before Goodell crashes to the ground. We just hope the NFL doesn’t implode with him.
How can a billion dollar company allow this man to keep his job is beyond us. So, if you truly hate the guy, then you’ll love this listicle. If you still think he’s the best thing for the NFL, we hope we can change your mind.
15 Threatened the Pro Bowl
In an immature act, Goodell once put a gun to the NFL’s Pro Bowl and threatened to pull the trigger if the players didn’t perform better. In 2012, Goodell said the level of playing needs to be better but it can be seen as a hypocritical statement for someone who wants to protect the health and safety of the players. The same tone about the competition came up again after the 2016 Pro Bowl. Yes, we all know the Pro Bowl isn’t a real football game, but ending it could mean players lose out on money, sponsorship, and deals surrounding the event.
14 The Grim Reaper of Touchdown Celebrations
What do NFL fans enjoy almost as much as a touchdown? The touchdown celebration. From Ickey Wood’s “The Ickey Shuffel” to Jamal Anderson’s “The Dirty Bird,” and everything in between, a celebratory moment after a touchdown can be just as iconic as a last second play to win the game. When legends like Terrell Owens, Steve Smith, and Chad Ochocinco would score, everyone was waiting for what antics they would pull after.
Players became innovative by using props and choreographing moves. Goodell would like you to forget that he was the one who killed this fine tradition by increasing the fines throughout the years. This is just one example of why it’s called the “No Fun League” by critics of Goodell. He will forever be known as the man who killed the touchdown celebration, but fear not because the rise of the sack celebration has filled that empty hole of fun.
13 Famous Players Hate Him
At every NFL Draft, you see Goodell out there on stage, introducing the newest member to the NFL, giving them a big hug, a smile, and handshake. It’s as if the NFL’s public relations team is screaming at you to believe the players and Goodell are cool with each other. It’s hardly the case and pretty embarrassing for Goodell when the most popular and best players in the league criticize his actions.
Former NFL player Ryan Clark said in an interview this past year that players have developed a hate for Goodell. A study by USA Today in 2013 found that 61% of 300 players hated Roger Goodell when asked. Richard Sherman and James Harrison are both future Hall of Famers and critics of Goodell. Need we say more.
12 Racism in the League
Lately, when you think of racism in the NFL, the first thing that comes to mind is the Washington Redskins' logo. In a lengthy litigation battle, Native American activists have been battling the owner of the team, Dan Synder, in a federal court over the trademark logo of the Redskins. Whether you agree or disagree that it’s a racist logo, it still hurts Goodell’s image. It’s not the only time racism has been brought up under Goodell.
Pittsburgh’s James Harrison questioned why he was fined only $5.000 for slamming former Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (black) but was fined $20,000 for touching New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (white) during the 2010 season. In 2011, future Hall of Famer and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared labor negotiations in the NFL to modern day slavery. We aren’t saying Goodell is a racist, but clearly there are still problems in the league and the commissioner might want you to think otherwise.
11 Blackmail and Extortion is Exciting
Anyone else catch Miami Dolphins’ Laremy Tunsil’s life spiral out of control during the NFL’s 2016 Draft? He went from a top five pick to outside the top 10 because he was being extorted and blackmailed. Someone posted an image of him smoking from a bong while wearing a gas mask minutes before the draft started. It doesn’t end there, the blackmailer then posted messages of Tunsil asking for rent money from the Ole Miss assistant athletic director John Miller.
This young adult was exposed on national television and we applaud him for handling it the way we did. You know what Goodell’s thoughts on the situation of a young man being extorted and blackmail was? He said it was “exciting” and was entertained by the whole thing. That’s right, Goodell knows more people tuned into the NFL Draft because of the situation, so making money at the expense of someone’s life is exciting for him. Stay classy Goodell.
10 NFL Lockout
The NFL’s 2010-11 regular season kicked off with a Thursday night game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. Before the game started, players on both teams raised their fists in solidarity. It was the last season before talks of a new collective bargaining agreement and the players wanted Goodell and the rest of the league to know they were unified.
From March 12th to July 25th, 2011, a work stoppage was imposed by the NFL’s owners because an agreement couldn’t be found. During that time, players couldn’t contact coaches, use the facilities, free agency didn’t exist, and there was no training camp. For Goodell’s sake, an agreement finally happened and he didn’t go down in history as the commissioner who had to cut the season due to a lockout. However, he would rather you forget a lockout ever took place, especially what happened with the referees a year later.
9 Replacement Referees
The 2012 NFL referee lockout was one of the most embarrassing moments in professional sports. The amount the NFL to had to give to referee's pension plan in 2011 was $3.3 million, but Goodell and company hated the retirement plan, so they decided to use replacement refs.
The replacement refs level of experience ranged from high school to Arena Football to lower divisions in college but not Division I. It became a public relations nightmare for the league because every week these refs proved they couldn’t handle the NFL by making mistakes. It’s just another embarrassing piece of history under the Goodell administration that he wants you to forget.
8 Special Treatment for Owners
The owner of the Indianapolis Colts pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in 2014. Not only was he under the influence of drugs while driving, but police found $29,000 in cash and a laundry bag full of pills. Goodell is supposed to be a champion of the anti-drinking and driving movement. In 2012, he issued harsher punishments for those caught driving under the influence.
However, the rules might not be the same for owners. Irsay was suspended just six games and fined $500,000, which is nothing to a multi-millionaire who owns a sports team. Many players ripped the punishment, complaining there’s double-standards in the league. It’s kind of true when you suspend a player for the entire season for smoking marijuana but you have no problems having an owner drive drunk, with cash and pills in the car.
7 His Salary
The most hated man in the NFL also makes a ton of money and he doesn’t want you to know about it. The NFL’s 2014 tax filing stated Goodell made $34.1 million that year. Now, most of us would rather not let people know how much we make, as it’s no one's business anyway, but when you have a guy who has sucked the money out of others through fines and suspensions, and has also destroyed the integrity and accountability of the NFL, we should be able to get a rough estimate of what he makes.
It will be the last time will ever see what the Commissioner of the NFL makes a year because the league ended their half-century tax-exempt status as a nonprofit trade group in 2015. The reason for this move is because Goodell calls it a distraction for the public to know how much money Goodell and the top executives make. Somebody wants you to forget how wealthy they are, even if they’re crappy at the job.
6 Fumbling a Scandal
Goodell has a poor track record when it comes to scandals in the NFL. He seems to always fumble the ball when it comes to prolific cases. In the past two years alone, Goodell’s disciplinary sentences on Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Tom Brady (United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned Judge Richard M. Berman’s decision in April) were overturned by an arbitrator or court. All these scandals have gone on way too long and it doesn’t look good for Goodell, even if he’s right in his disciplinary actions.
5 The Case of Ray Rice
It’s another example of a hypocritical tyrant at the wheel of a billion dollar company. In 2014, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested for knocking out his wife (then-fiancée) in an elevator at a casino in Atlantic City, N.J. Initially, Goodell only suspended Rice for two games on the season. When the video of Rice knocking out his wife and dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator surfaced in the public’s eye, Goodell faced a firestorm of heat over his disciplinary decision.
Goodell, looking like a fool, had to extend Rice’s ban but the damage was done. How do you suspend one guy (Josh Gordon) for a season but a person who knocked out his wife in public only gets suspended for two games? The hypocrisy is strong with Goodell.
4 People in the NFL Want His Powers Stripped
Goodell’s tyranny may finally be regulated as the union and league officials have been in discussion to remove power given to the commissioner to discipline players for off-the-field conduct. According to NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, they’ve had talks about a neutral arbitrator when it comes to the personal conduct policy.
As of now, Goodell is the judge, jury, and executioner but if changes do happen, a three-person panel of ex-lawmakers or judges with a background in football could be the next arbitrators. The discussions speak volumes to how bad Goodell has been at his position, especially if this proposition does pass. Pretty much everyone recognizes Goodell as a tyrant and we’re sure he doesn’t want you to know that.
3 Knew About Spygate a Year Before it Became Public
Before Deflategate, there was Spygate. From 2000 to 2007, the New England Patriots videotaped the signals of teams in 40 games. The Patriots collated the videos of each team and figured out the schemes and plays. Then head coach of the New York Jets and former Patriots coach, Eric Mangini, blew the whistle on the spying program. Not only did Goodell say he only knew of six video tapes leading up to the Super Bowl in February of 2008, he decided to destroy all the evidence as quickly as possible. What gets the conspiracy accusations going is the fact that he gave out his punishment on September 13th, four days before the NFL examined the tapes.
Even though the penalties were harsh, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team lost draft picks. How do you not look at the evidence before handing out a sentence? A year before the scandal broke, the Green Bay Packers head security at the time, Doug Collins, caught Matt Estrella taping the Packers defensive signals. Estrella is infamously known for the one who recorded the Spygate tapes, so Goodell and company knew about this a year before Mangini became a whistle blower. Either Goodell is very incompetent or he knew of the what the Patriots were doing and didn’t act upon it until it became public.
2 Concussions. What Concussions?
Goodell wants you to believe he’s an advocate for player safety, however, he openly wants to add two more regular season games to the brutal schedule and has continually downplayed long-term studies linking concussions and football. This year, The New York Times published an article about the flaws in concussion research by the NFL in the last decade. The article states 100 cases were omitted from the study, however, the NFL denied this. It gets better, as their public relations team decided to buy ad space at NYT and posted messages of the NFL progressing the player’s safety on the field.
Congress has also written a letter to the NFL asking them why they are trying to interfere in a concussion study by Boston University. Goodell also brushed off concussion questions during Super Bowl 50, explaining, “ There is risk in everything. There’s risk in sitting on the couch.” When former NFL player Junior Seau killed himself, many blamed multiple concussions for the state he was in. Goodell and the NFL decided it was a great idea to ban his family from speaking at Seau’s induction into the Hall of Fear out of fear that the family would speak about concussions.
1 Jury, Judge, and Executioner
If you ever take a civics course, you know that there’s a checks and balances system in the United States government. This is not the case in the NFL, as Commissioner Goodell has absolute authority on deciding disciplinary actions of a member of the NFL for on and off-the-field incidents. The NFL Players Association knew all too well the powers Goodell would have when they signed a 10-year collective bargaining agreement in 2011.
However, because of his double standards and bias towards certain teams and players, the league has coughed up millions of dollars in legal fees battling the NFLPA in court. When it's all said and done, Goodell doesn't want you to know how much power he has or how he would screw over one player and let the other one off the hook, even though they committed the same crime. Goodell wants you to believe he cared about the integrity of the game. After reading this list, what do you think?